Student Profile – Nicola Gerhardsen

Swiss National Nicola Gerhardsen arrived at #KeNakoAcademy in October 2016. Since being at the academy he has enjoyed a great deal of success. Since joining the academy, Nicola has dedicated himself in such a positive and constructive manner to ensure that he reaches his goals and this has laid the foundation for many excellent results.  These include:

  • Nicola finished 7th in the Individual Strokeplay Division and T4th with Swiss teammate Elena Moosman in the Team Division at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Argentina. An amazing achievement for a 16-year-old!
  • He won the Oliver Barras Memorial Amateur Championship which qualified him to play in the European Masters Tournament on the European Tour.
  • Nicola and the Swiss Boys Team played some excellent golf to finish 2nd in the 2018 European Boys’ Team Championship.
  • He enjoyed an outstanding victory in the Swiss National Boys Championships played at Interlaken Golf Club. Nicola won both the U18 and U16 titles with an excellent score of 12 under par 276. He dominated the tournament, winning the U18 title by 7 strokes and the U16 title by 23 strokes.
  • Nicola scored an impressive 7 under par total of 281 to finish 7th in the Omnium Swiss (Swiss Open) in a field that included both professional and amateur golfers from Switzerland.
  • He has enjoyed several top finishes in local Southern Cape Junior Tournaments, with 2nd place being his best result to date. Nicola finished the year 2018 as the 4th ranked U19 player on the Southern Cape Junior Order of Merit.

This 16-year-old amateur has been playing golf for the past 8 years. He enjoyed playing soccer but started focusing on improving his golf game at the age of 12. Nicola inherited his passion for golf from his mother and it is a pastime that the entire family enjoys. The first tournament Nicola competed in was an U12 regional tournament in Switzerland. He said that he experienced a mixture of nervousness and excitement as he was introduced to a more competitive playing field.

Nicola’s aspirations for 2019 are to be in the Top 150 players of The World Amateur Golf Rankings and to make the cut for the upcoming Omega European Masters played in Crans Montana in September.

Nicola enjoys getting an early morning start and can usually be found sweating in the gym at 5am, 4 – 5 times a week. He attends school at Rundle College until 1pm and can then be found practicing on the driving range or working on his short game skills on the KeNako putting green until 6pm. He also enjoys 8 – 9 hours a day practice sessions on weekends. He takes Mondays off, to give himself a break to recover and rest. Nicola enjoys the programme and especially enjoys working with KeNako Academy Head Golf Coach Roger Wessels. The dedicated golfer believes part of his success lies in his consistency and his driving accuracy. He is currently a +3 handicap.

Nicola would love to play Pebble Beach Golf Links in the US one day. It is on his bucket list because of its great location, with pristine views and a fantastic course layout. His favourite local course is Montagu Golf Course at Fancourt.  He says that it is challenging and always in pristine condition. Nicola is inspired by golf professional Tiger Woods because of his tenacious attitude, great career achievements and his amazing comeback in spite of having to deal with a backlash from a number of people.

When coming to a critical stage of his schooling in Switzerland, he made the decision that instead of following the traditional route of enrolling in an apprenticeship programme, he would enrol at KeNako Academy. He had heard excellent reviews about KeNako Academy and Roger Wessels and golf was (and is!) his main priority. He enjoys the South African lifestyle and besides the superb programme, KeNako Academy is in an excellent location with great weather conditions, allowing him to play and practice all-year-round.

Nicola attends school at Rundle College and is completing his IG2 Cambridge International Education. His subjects include; Economics, Business, Mathematics, English, French and A-level German. His favourite subject is Business Studies.

Nicola is travelling in April to compete in various European amateur and team events. He has been selected to compete for the U19 and Open Amateur Swiss Team in a number of tournaments. Nicola is especially looking forward to competeing in the Team World Junior Championships to be played in Japan later this year.

Congratulations on your excellent achievements thus far Nicola.  Keep on pushing your boundaries!